Data Center, News, VMworld 2018

Apstra to Demonstrate Intent-Based Data Center Network Automation with VMware vSphere Integration at VMworld

We are, of course, meeting with tons of IT companies at VMworld like we always do. One of the meetings I’m excited about this year is with Apstra. It’s been about two years since I’ve had a good hard look at Apstra. They presented at Networking Field Day 13, for which I had a seat at the table. Since then, they’ve kind of fallen off my radar since I have historically tended to focus more on the server/storage side of the data center.

We’ve got an increased focus in some particular IT practice areas at ActualTech Media right now (networking being one of those areas), so I’ve been coming back up to speed on Apstra this morning. It looks like lots of cool things have happened over the past two years! I suppose that shouldn’t be a surprise – two years is practically an eternity in the Silicon Valley alternate universe where companies like Apstra do their thing 🙂

As I’m doing my review today, I found some cool news I wanted to share. It’s timely because the news just came out today, and Apstra is going to be demonstrating this stuff at VMworld. So if this interests you and you’ll be at the show, you’ll be able to swing over to their booth and see it in person! (If you won’t be at the show, there’s plenty of good stuff online; don’t worry!).

New vSphere Integration

The interesting new capability is that AOS (Apstra Operating System) now has integration with VMware vSphere to provide greater visibility across VMware vCenter Server customers’ network and virtual machine infrastructure.

AOS’ vSphere integration augments, in real time, Apstra AOS’s graph-based distributed state repository with granular workload information. This integration enables relationships between workloads, applications, tenants, virtual networks, the physical topology, and specific elements such as interfaces, CPUs, and links to all co-exist in the same graph representation. As a result, it  provides a unique ability to  correlate virtual, physical, and workload state, providing unmatched visibility in how infrastructure issues affect applications.

AOS can raise alerts when anomalies are detected that pertain to specific workloads or applications, such as Layer 2 connectivity issues across different racks, incorrectly configured network switch interfaces, and detection of a packet drop in the physical network; it then correlates it with application components in the virtual network, specific workloads, applications, or tenants.

Apstra connects AOS to a vCenter Server via VMware APIs and continuously receives information about each virtual machine’s lifecycle and configuration changes. These data augment the rich network context that AOS continuously maintains in its unique publish/subscribe graph representation with VM-specific information that can be queried by network operators for forensic analysis or used by its Intent-Based Analytics™ (IBA) to detect anomalies.

How About a Demo?

One step better than trying to explain it for you is to share with you this awesome video demo by The Wizard of Whiteboards Carly Stoughton. In the video, Carly shows AOS getting information from a vSphere Distributed Switch and  explains how the marriage of data from both gives superpowers to network admins.

If this is interesting to you, I’m sure you can get the same demo I’m going to be getting at Apstra’s VMworld booth – #1074-A in the Innovator Pavilion. If you won’t be there, you can also always schedule a demo online.